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General appreciation

Burma's Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing (left) and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha meet in Bangkok on 27 August 2015. (Photo: Min Aung Hlaing Facebook.)

Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha and Burmese Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing discussed the current relationship between the two countries during a meeting in Bangkok on Thursday.

“The Thai Prime Minister said that Thai government supports the reforms of Myanmar, and is against organisations which rise against [the] Myanmar government,” Min Aung Hlaing wrote on his Facebook page.

Prayut reportedly also expressed his country’s commiserations for the recent flood disaster in Burma.

The Thai premier said his country “is ready to open industrial zones at the border of two countries” and added that he hoped the industrial zones would be opened soon. He also called for the speedy registration of Burmese migrant workers, Min Aung Hlaing wrote yesterday.

Thailand and Burma have contractual agreements in developing SEZs in Dawei in Tenasserim Division, and on both sides of the Mae Sot-Myawaddy border.

The Dawei SEZ is led by the Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), and largely funded by Thai banks. SET-listed ITD has signed an agreement with the Burmese government to start developing the first phase.

The developer and its consortium partners have signed a concession agreement with Naypyidaw to develop Dawei, also known as Tavoy, for 50 years. Thailand, Burma and Japan have agreed on a master plan covering an industrial estate spanning 132 square kilometres, a deep-sea port capable of handling 170 million tonnes of goods a year, a four-lane road linking the Thai border with Dawei, water supply and treatment, and power plants.

Thailand has donated 18 million baht (over US$500,000) to assist the victims of flooding in Burma. Min Aung Hlaing took the chance to thank Prayut for his country’s help, while expressing sympathy about the bomb blast in Bangkok on 17 August.

Prime Minister Prayut and President Thein Sein share a military background. Prayut launched a military coup in Thailand last year, when the National Council for Peace and Order took over power, and he has remained prime minister ever since.

 

Read more about the Burmese-Thai SEZ here.